Politics

Two New Women Accuse Sen. Franken Of Sexual Misconduct

Two more women have come forward with accusations that Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken inappropriately grabbed their butts during political events.

These women, who spoke anonymously to HuffPost Wednesday, are the third and fourth accusers of Franken. News anchor Leeann Tweeden, the first woman to come forward, said that Franken forcibly kissed and groped her while the two were on a USO tour in 2006.

Lindsay Menz, the second woman to come forward, accused Franken of grabbing her butt during a photo-op at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

The two new women describe events that took place during Franken’s first campaign for the U.S. Senate.

The first woman, a 38-year-old book editor, said she was performing with a feminist choir at a Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus event in 2007 when she and other choir members approached Franken for a photo.

“My mother loves Al Franken. She listened to Air America [on which Franken had a radio show] every day,” the book editor said. ”I saw him and asked if we could take a photo together for my mother, and we stood next to each other … and down his hand went.”

Two sources corroborated the account, and one fellow choir member recalls overhearing a member of the choir complain that Franken wouldn’t stop looking at her breasts.

“Only two people have come forward, and people are saying that this is a right-wing conspiracy,” the woman who was groped said. “It’s not. I’m a liberal person. … I voted for him after this happened.”

The second woman said Franken groped her at a 2008 fundraiser at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. She was excited to meet Franken and, like the other woman, took a photo with him.

“I shook his hand, and he put his arm around my waist and held it there,” she remembered. “Then he moved it lower and cupped my butt. I was completely mortified.”

The woman explained that she tried to escape the situation by excusing herself to go to the bathroom, but Franken suggested he accompany her. She said she grabbed her friend and left immediately.

While she did not tell anyone about the incident at the time, she did tell a few people about it some years ago, including a reporter for HuffPost.

Franken told HuffPost that he denies ever propositioning anyone to join him in a bathroom.

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